Jump directly to the Content

Deciding Without Dividing

It started with a simple request: "Will you come and moderate a special business meeting at our church?"

As presbyter for 30 churches in the San Francisco area, I agreed to assist. At the time I did not realize this would plunge me into a conflict that would nearly destroy a congregation.

A year after Bill was called to pastor this church, he wanted to change the by-laws to eliminate the periodic vote of confidence and establish an indefinite term of office for the pastor. He aggressively campaigned for a special congregational meeting to approve the idea.

Some in the congregation felt Bill's campaigning signified a shift from pastoral leadership to personal agenda. Rather than leading the church, they felt he was driving it. This polarized the congregation. By the date of the meeting, many members—tired of the politicized atmosphere—had already left the church.

Bill had called me because he thought that a neutral party would restrain the hostility and allow the meeting to proceed with a more ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

November
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Burnout Is a Danger, Whatever Your Church Size
Burnout Is a Danger, Whatever Your Church Size
I exhausted myself trying to expand our little church, then again when I couldn’t keep up with the growth.
From the Magazine
The New Prison Ministry Lies in Bible Education
The New Prison Ministry Lies in Bible Education
Religious programs, including evangelical schools, are a major force for good behind bars.
Editor's Pick
How Might the COVID-19 Crisis Reshape our Churches for Good?
How Might the COVID-19 Crisis Reshape our Churches for Good?
We have a unique opportunity to reset, pivot from old patterns, and look afresh at the future.
close